Sugar Mill Escoviched Fish
In this classic preparation of typical Jamaican fare, the grouper is served beneath a colorful array of julienned vegetables. Potatoes and pumpkin on the side add a perfect mix of textures.
- Grouper Fillets - four, 6-ounce (alt. mahimahi, snapper, or catfish)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lemon - 1, halved, seeds removed
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
- Olive oil - 1/2 cup, for frying
- Sauteed Vegetables in Vinaigrette
- Green Peppers - 1 medium, seeded, deribbed, and julienned
- Red Pepper - 1 medium, seeded, deribbed, and julienned
- Onion - 1 medium, peeled and julienned
- Carrots - 2, peeled and julienned
- Habanero (Scotch Bonnet) pepper - 1 small, seeded and cut in very thin julienne
- Tomato - 1, seeded and julienned
- Sherry Vinegar - 1/2 cup (alt. other flavored vinegar)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pumpkin - 1-1/4 pound, fresh, peeled (alt. calabaza, or winter squash), and trimmed into 1-inch-by-2-inch ovals (tourneed)
- Potatoes - 6 small, peeled and trimmed into 1-inch-by-2-inch ovals (tourneed)
- Watermelon Balls - 12
- Jamaican Apple Slices - 4, (optional)
- Basil - 4 stems, fresh
To make the fish: Season the fillets with salt and pepper, then squeeze lemon juice over each fillet. Dust the fish with flour on both sides, shaking off excess. In a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Saute the fillets, turning several times, until golden brown, 2 - 3 minutes on each side. Remove fish from pan, placing it in another skillet, and set aside to keep warm.
To make the vegetables: Discard the oil from the skillet and put the red and green peppers, onion, carrot, habanero, and tomato in the skillet. Add sherry vinegar and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the fish to the stove and turn the heat to low. Mound the sauteed vegetables on the fish. Pour the liquid from the vegetables over all, allowing the flavors to blend a few minutes before serving.
To make the garnish: Place the pumpkin and the potato in separate saute pans and cook in a small amount of water until fork-tender.
To serve: Divide the fish fillets among the serving plates and spoon the vegetables over them. Alternate pumpkin and potato ovals on each plate. Garnish with watermelon balls, apple slices (optional), and fresh basil.